Meaningful not material gifts

Gifts of Hope 2013

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Or have you barely begun? Most people on your list are probably just like the people on my list: they really don’t need anything. We give them gifts because we love them and it’s just what we do during this time of year. So we end up buying things like sweaters to put in already-full closets, video games for kids who should be playing outside in the fresh air and sunshine, and boxes of Christmas cookies and candies for people who already have too much to eat. We rarely give gifts that will endure until next Christmas much less gifts with eternal value.

But what if we decided to do it differently this year? What if we decided to truly honor the season of the Savior with a gift of hope to a persecuted believer? Open Doors has compiled a Gifts of Hope Catalog to help you choose gifts that not only encourage Christians suffering for their faith but also give real help and hope to those who share our faith but not our freedom.

For $58 you can provide job training for women to help them support their families. For only $5 you can provide biblical resources in digital media format to help train and disciple a believer. $1565 will sustain a whole family for a year. These are just a few of the gifts available in the Gifts of Hope Catalog. Click here to view the entire catalog.

Don’t let this Christmas be another year of giving meaningless gifts that do little to honor the greatest gift of all – Jesus the Messiah! Purchase with purpose this Christmas and give the gift of hope to persecuted Christians around the world.

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Evil did not win.

Evil did not win

Emilie Parker, 6 year old victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

 

One year ago today an unspeakable tragedy occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Twenty children and six adults were killed in what is known as the second deadliest mass shooting in the history of our country. One of those victims was Emilie Parker (pictured above). On December 14, 2012, it seemed that evil triumphed with each blast of the shooter’s gun. However, Emilie’s mother declares that evil did NOT win that day. Click here to watch a short video chronicling her story of grief and hope. I know that it will give you hope as well.

Take time today to pray for all of the people whose lives are forever changed because of that day.